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Cleobuddy's musings

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My presentiments exactly!

By: cleobuddy @ 17:01 (EST) / 257 / Comment ( 0 )

 Valentine's day has come and gone, and I am happy to report that Mrs. Cleobuddy was once again thoroughly satisfied with the effort that was made to make her feel special. My only regret was that I was given my first entry to the Big Bang for my Buddha-blog dealing with suffering in poker (it played on the very same day) and could not really put my heart into it because it was needed somehwere else. I more or less aborted the session with an all-in when I sensed I had played just enough to not get in trouble (darling had come back from her walk with friend and supper loomed).  Nevertheless, I was happy to see it be reported that a fellow blogger had taken second place in that event with a stamp he received for his contributed content here. When he was still playing I was cuddled up on the couch watching Netflix with the cat and the missus.

 Being the clever cat I am, I offered to choose our entertainment for the evening. I'm a not a big fan of fiction or drama; I like the real stuff better. Mrs. Cleobuddy knows this and understands that I always try and keep her in mind too. I settled on a documentary that sounded really interesting for both of us--some guy with money, movie making talent and a life changing experiencing would be interviewing some pretty well known and influencial people asking them about two fundamnetal questions: "What's wrong with the world?" and "what can we do to change it?".  It was beyond cool. I'm not going to plug the film because that's not what this is about, but I am going to talk a bit about some of the things I liked and end with tying it to some recent poker experiences.

 One of the profound conclusions made by many an interviewee was that it would take a greater consciousness for humans to be able to effect change. It was more than that too, because it went so far as to talk about the relationship between consciousness and reality. That sort of stuff is something that can only be truly appreciated when you can somehow link it to experimental fact. I have a background in science and am quick to listen with ears piqued when someone is talking about how consciousness affects reality. I think it was handled briliantly.

 Anyway, it wasn't long that we were led into the quantum realm (the smallest scale) where nothing is much at it seems. The discussion related to the now famous two-slit experiment that encapsulates very simply pretty much all of what the quantum world is about ( as per Richard Feynman's famous opinion). For those not yet familiar with it , it's a demonstartion of how a beam of discrete particles forced through two finely spaced slits end up producing a pattern of wave-like interference on a detector placed on the receiving end. That's interesting enough to be quite worthy of study. What is most interesting about the experiment is that if one somehow extracts enough information about the beam's particles to know what slit they are travelling through at any given point you will kill the wave-like nature of the response and the individual particles will behave differently (like point particles). They will go through and hit the detector as if they were making their way through one slot or the other. Being conscious of the particle on a level changes its nature. It doesn't matter that the observation is done by eyes, indirectly or by machine. If you can gain the information, even by complicated calculation dones months later, the particles know instantly and will behave differently. There have been repeated attempts to try and foil this and trick the particles to somehow act as if we weren't looking at them, but they somehow can't be tricked. As soon as we are conscious of them their reality is determined, and it is a new one. When we do not look too closely they act shamelessly as waves of water would.

 That wasn't really new to me, but what was new was the revelation that some researchers were studying quantum effects on the larger scale (our scale) and finding that it appears to be measurable. I suppose, why not? Relativity has measured real world applications on our scale (electromagnetism, for one). 

 One of the talked about experiments dealt with random number generators, something us poker players know a thing or two about (or maybe not). Apparently, RNGs can be made to generate a more "non random" number sequence by focusing enough awarerness on some prespecified reality (experimenters used major global events as reference points that focus our awareness). That' s pretty cool if you think about it because there are applications that demand RNGs work all the time. That scientific papers have been produced and published on this subject  means, I suppose, that some are looking into it seriously.

 Another thing that was talked about was presentiment, that feeling we have that we know what is happening before it happens. It's a very commonly spoken about, yet obscure, human experience. We almost all, to a person, can relate an experience when we had a sense that we knew someone was looking at us before we actually turned and saw them looking at us. It's one of those fuzzy things that we really can't completely explain unless we can somehow prove that we can potentially access information from the close future, in a way akin to a particle borrowing energy to tunnel through an energy barrier.

 Presentiment is something that I have actually vividly experienced once in poker. Have you? Here is the best example that I have dug out from cleobuddy's poker X-files (the only one in fact). It was before Christmas last year. I was playing the PSOpen league 10pm (my time) session and the break had just started. I was tired and was nodding off at this time and/or was in some sort of daze (just wasn't present). From out of nowhere I was imagining a hand--I had pocket tens in the cut off,  had raised 3BB and had been reraised by 3X from the button. I called. On the flop I hit a set, but there were two cards to a potential straight so I was cautious and bet the pot. The button called and we saw a fourth card that made three to a straight. I bet the pot again and was raised all-in. I still remember the very real feeling of stress I had at the time. I was anxious about the fact that there was no way to know what to do. I also remember snapping out it suddenly (so to speak) and saying to myself, quite matter of factly, that I it was absolutely foolish to be caught up in this imaginary scenario and to feel anxiousness about it. I calmed down.

 And then it happened exactly as I had just "seen" it when the play restarted--I noticed I was immediately seated in the cut-off. I was dealt pocket tens. I raised 3BB and was reraised 3x by the button. I couldn't believe what was happening. I actually fealt quite nervous at this point (even though the tournament had little importance to me). I called and saw the flop, kinda hoping I would not hit a set and the odds would remain impressive, but not that special, so much reasonabale doubt could still remain). I did in fact hit a set and there were two cards to a flush (different from my visualization, but still close). I bet the pot and was called. The turn brought three to a flush and I bet the pot again. I was raised all-in by the button. I remember exactly what was going through my mind at this time. It's like time had stopped and I was very calm because I didn't already  "know" what I would be doing here and just "understood" that there was no way to know what to do. I called the all-in without any misgivings or much thought and won the hand. The villain did not have a flush and I proceeded to play out the rest of the tournament.

 When I went to bed that night I rolled around in bed (quite awake) and experienced something like a minor existential crisis where I started feeling extremely panicky about how and why this sort of thing could happen and what it could possibly mean. I got caught up in those thorny thoughts of why there should be anything like a reality at all. I really have no explanation other than to say that it is something that is strange, yet, not at all uncommon if I am to accept that many feel they have experienced the same sort of weirdness at times.

 On an side note, my mother's young brother, one day a long time ago, quite vehemently refused to go to school (he had never done that before). He kept hiding from everyone and was shouting/crying  that "he did not want to go", but never gave an explanation when pressed for one. The whole family was quite distressed by it. He was eventually forced to go (with broomstick waving threats from my grandmother), and as fate would have it, he was struck and killed by a drunk driver on his way home from school that aftrenoon. It weighed incredibly on the whole family. It is something that still makes me tear up (and I know only of the story). I cannot yet reconcile the "why" and "how" in events like those. It appears to be more than mere coincidence to me.

 I happen to feel it is something like the two slit experiemnt where we cannot know for sure one thing without collapsing reality. There are things that will always be mysterious from the vantage point of our scale. If you want to think of that famous experiment in poker terms, think of skill and chance in poker being the dual-nature of the poker particle (a single event) you have something to ponder about how the outcomes end up looking one way or the other. Maybe I'll blog about some crazy thoughts like that later.

Here's hoping there are visions of winning for you in the future,



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